08 Jul Challenging negative social norms (The Hindu, GS-1, Population and its related issues)
Context:- Half of India’s population is under 29 years of age which shows a greater proportion of young people will drive India’s economic growth and social progress. To achieve the SDG, Population must be healthy, knowledgeable and skilled but must also be provided with the rights and choices to develop to their fullest potential, including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
- Currently the population of India is about 17% of the global population.
- According to a United Nations report, India is expected to add 273 million people by the year 2050 and by the year 2027, India’s population is projected to surpass China’s which will make India the most populous nation in the world.
- Population density refers to the total number of people per unit of area in a given territory.
- Population density is largely dependent on the geographical location and geological factors.
- In India, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, and other hilly terrains have a lower density of population.
- While the northern plains and coastal areas have very high population density.
- Sex composition:- It refers to the number of females per 1000 males in a given area at a specified time period. In india sex ratio is 940.
- Transgender composition:- According to Census 2011 Transgender compositionas is 4,87,803.
- Divyang composition:- According to census 2011, 8 lakh households have disabled persons in the country which almost consists of 8.3 percent of the total households.
- Literacy composition:- According to census 2011, Literacy rate in India, which is a prerequisite to education and an instrument of empowerment. In India literacy level is 74.4%.
- Working Population Composition:- The population of India according to their economic status is divided into three groups, namely; main workers, marginal workers, and non-workers.
- National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 (2015-2016) data:
- 12% of married women in the 15-49 years of age bracket independently make decisions about their own healthcare.
- 63% decide in consultation with their spouse.
- For 23% it is the spouse that mainly takes decisions about healthcare.
Factors Influencing the Distribution of Population:-
- Geographical Factors
- Economic Factors
- Social and Cultural Factor
- Demographic factors
- Political factors
- Water availability:- Population always resides in those areas where freshwater can be easily available, used for drinking, bathing and cooking, for cattle, crops, industries and navigation. For example, the Nile, Amazon, and Ganges river systems supported rich civilizations on their banks.
- Landforms:- Humans prefer living on flat plains and gentle slopes. Flat plains favour the crops production and to build roads and industries. For example Gangatic plains.
- Climate:- The Areas with very heavy rainfall or extreme and harsh climates will always have low population, for example Mediterranean regions.
- Soils:- A Fertile soils are important for agricultural and allied activities. Therefore, area with fertile loamy soils have dense population. E.g. Northern plains of India.
- Location:- If proximity to major towns and cities location then favours concentration of population.
- Natural disasters:- It discourages population concentration. Frequent storms, earthquakes, floods, wildfires will discourage formation of settlements as people migrate to more safe places.
- Minerals:- The Areas with mineral availability attract industries and therefore generate employment. Skilled and semi- skilled workers will migrate to these areas and make them densely populated. Example Katanga Zambia copper belt in Africa, Higher population densities in the Chota Nagpur Plateau.
- Urbanization:- Cities which offer better employment opportunities, educational and medical facilities, better means of transport and communication and good civic amenities will attract more population.
- Transport:- It is a means of communication from one place to another place. The growth of the population in any area is directly proportional to the development of transport facilities and connectivity. For example in India the northern plain of India has a dense network of transport routes and is a densely populated region.
- Industrialization:- An industrialised are provides job opportunities and attracts large numbers of people. Example the Kobe-Osaka region of Japan.
- Economic activity:- Economic activity is an indicator of employment opportunities. People in the rural areas are largely dependent on agriculture but in Urban settlements they depend on industries. If the land fails to support the rural population, or with more opportunities available in urban areas, people will migrate to cities.
- Social Organization:- New areas encourage the movement of people and settlement if found new opportunity. Man is a social animal and it becomes essential for him to form a community
- Migration:- Migration has a deep influence on population distribution. There are push factors, or negative circumstances, at the place of origin that tend to motivate people to leave their native places to newer areas. Better opportunities at other places also encourage migration.
- Natural increase in population:- Net outcome of fertility and mortality in a region will either increase or decrease . If in a region, the fertility level is high, the population of that place tends to increase. In such situations, mortality brings stability because of deaths. Epidemics and disease have always significantly influenced mortality levels.
- War torn areas and political conflicts take a great toll on human lives. Death rates are high, and people are forced to move out in search of safety. Mortality rates will be at peak and out-migration dominates.
What are the Issues and challenges related to population:-
- Changing social norms is one of the biggest challenges for India to address the needs of the next generation.
- Issues remain at the forefront in the health sector.
- MMR declining gives a relief but still a long way to go.
- Stabilizing Population: We need to deduction in fertility rate for stabilizing the population growth and it would be a challenge to achieve an optimal fertility rate in states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh.
- Quality of Life: India will be in dire need to invest in education and healthcare systems, grow more food, provide more housing, sharply increase its drinking water supply and add capacity to basic infrastructures, such as roads, transport, electricity, and sewage to provide a minimum quality of life to every citizen.
- An increased Expenditure is the prerequisite for fulfillment of basic needs and augment the social infrastructure of India for accommodating the rising population, for that India will have to raise resources through taxation and other means.
- Malthusian fears: Malthus argued that because there will be a higher population which will outway the availability of food, many people will die from the shortage of food.
- Demographic dividend: To reap the benefits from the rising demographic dividend India needs to develop a strong base of human capital that can contribute significantly to the growth of the economy but India’s low literacy rate
- Sustainable Urban Growth:-UN report says that by 2050, the urban population will be increased to 87.7 million ,Thereby creating the need for improvisation of urban facilities with an emphasis on access to good, affordable housing and mobility.
- Ageing of Population: According to some UN report, share of the population over the age of 60 could increase from 8% in 2015 to 19% in 2050. This ageing population puts twin challenges of rising population and old age dependents will add to India’s troubles of providing jobs, education, health along with geriatric care.
- Skill Development:- We must incorporate skill in formal education with increase awareness, here national education policy is an instrument which can bring some utility changes.
- Government must pursue ways to improve people’s health indicators.
- Quality Education will remain at the heart of any way forward.